Thoughts on the PS4 after a month

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It’s a lovely, elegant little machine. No bigger than my PS3 Slim. Very quiet but it does chuck a fair amount of heat out of the back. Much, much neater than an equivalent powered PC.

The Dualshock 4 is truly fantastic. Using a Dualshock 3 after it feels like a cheaply made Chinese 3rd party knockoff. They have finally caught up with the Xbox controller and with the touchpad, motion control etc they have more features if games come along to use them.

The new PS Eye is nice.

The OS is slick and simple to use. Everything works much faster than the PS3.

Both Netflix and iPlayer work so much faster than the PS3 version.

The new Vidzone is nice too.

DVD playback upscales to 1080p like the PS3 and looks as good if not better so there are no worries in that front.

Bluray playback also looks great although it would be nice if it displayed the Disc info when you insert it like the PS3 did.

All Disc video playback settings have an automatic setting now to match your TV which is good.

Games are the real problem at the moment. After 7 years PS3 games have reached their zenith and so far I have seen nothing on the PS4 to really compare with Uncharted 3, GT6 or Tiger Woods 14. Yes everything is now running in 1080p which looks very nice on a 1080p TV but – Resogun apart – nothing really looks optimised yet. 1080p does make a big difference with double the resolution of 720p but the machine has 10x the power of the PS3 which games are not really using yet. FIFA 14 is not super smooth, Killzone is ok but doesn’t blow my socks off, NFS: The Rivals looks very nice but isn’t exactly super smooth. Marvel Super Heroes, to be fair, is a big graphical step up from the PS3 version. Sharper, smoother and a lot more detailed if you like that kind of game. What we are really lacking at the moment is a game where you can say there is no way you could do that on a PS3. Maybe Driveclub will be that game and it’s coming in February I believe.

There are also the issue of certain basic PS3 features being missing in the PS4 which is an issue if you only have space for one machine under your TV. It’s ridiculous that you can’t play a CD in it never mind a SACD. You can’t network it to your PC to use it as a Media Player either. It won’t even play audio or video files off a USB stick. These are unnecessary annoyances. Sony has to achieve feature parity with PS3 to get more people to upgrade. If they could implement SACD and HD Audio file playback that would be even better.

My conclusion at the moment would have to be: Great machine but save your money until they fix the missing OS features or a great game comes along that you really must have.

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